Belfast Telegraph

'I owe career to Sean'

By Dan McGinn

ONE of Ulster's leading screen actors today spoke of how he owed his career to an amateur theatre legend who died last week.

ONE of Ulster's leading screen actors today spoke of how he owed his career to an amateur theatre legend who died last week.

John Lynch, star of 'Sliding Doors' and 'In the Name of the Father', spoke of his 'deep sadness' following the death last Sunday of Sean Hollywood, the Newry amateur drama enthusiast and founding member of the SDLP.

Speaking on his return from Newry where Mr Hollywood's funeral took place on Wednesday, Lynch said the send- off for his friend and mentor was 'extremely moving'.

'Like everybody in Newry, I'm just shocked by Sean's death. The whole town is devastated,' he said.

'I first came across Sean in St Colman's College where he taught me English when I was 11 and it was because of him I developed an interest in acting in school, the Newpoint Players and later, professionally.

'Under Sean, our school won an all-Ireland drama award and we performed an amazing variety of plays from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' to 'Liam Liar' an Irish version of 'Billy Liar'.

'His enthusiasm brought a whole new generation of actors to the stage and he was very proud of those who pursued a career in acting.

'It's just a shame he's died so early because he was beginning to blood in a whole new generation.'Lynch, who is currently in pre-production for a movie on the life of George Best, hoped Sean Hollywood's work in amateur drama would continue.

Lynch's sister Susan, who is currently making a film with Jonathan Pryce in Italy and appearing in the BBC2 series 'Amongst Women,' also worked with Sean Hollywood in the Newpoint Players.

Another sister, Pauline, is also involved with the group.

'I know his legacy will live on through the work he did in the Newry and Mourne arts committee, the Newpoint Players and St Colman's and through the work of others who were fortunate enough to come into contact with him.'The group also suffered another blow with the double loss with the death in a house fire of Sean and Regina Morgan.

Belfast Telegraph

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